A user asked, Am I wrong for not allowing alcohol at my wedding & not telling people why?


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The Original Poster (28f) is marrying her fiance James (25m) in September. They sent the invites out in January and did not mention that they won’t be serving alcohol at the wedding, but they won’t.

OP says, “We will only be serving non-alcoholic options, and there won’t be any available for people to people to buy at the ‘bar’.”

What Does OP Share?

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OP says, “I’m a recovering alcoholic (sober four years seven months), but if I’m out socially and a discussion about having alcohol comes up, I always lie and tell people I’m seriously intolerant to alcohol and it makes me very sick.

I don’t want people to know about my sobriety; it’s none of their business. Only my best friends and immediate family know (and my fiance, obviously).”

What Happened On Jame’s Birthday?

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James’ birthday was in early April, and they rented a room above a pub to celebrate.

Conversations about their wedding came up, and OP doesn’t remember exactly how, but she ended up talking to a group of not-so-close friends (more James’ friends and her acquaintances) about the wedding.

She said it was going to be an alcohol-free wedding and they were pretty incredulous. Especially as James’ birthday was not alcohol-free, they asked why, and OP said OP wasn’t giving a reason; there’s just no alcohol. They asked if OP was pregnant, and OP said no. OP doesn’t want alcohol at my wedding.

What Happened Next?

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OP was called a buzzkill and told that people go to weddings to drink and that it’s polite to put money behind the bar for your guests, mainly if they are evening guests. It ended up in this big debate about drinking at weddings.

What Did The Friends Say?

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One of their much closer friends joined the conversation and asked why she didn’t just tell them why she doesn’t drink. OP said it was none of their business, pretty rudely, but she says she was getting angry at this point.

One of James’ friends said being honest about it was the least she could do, and it was wrong of OP not to at least explain herself. One of them also made a reasonably unpleasant joke at OP’s expense, basically suggesting she is the ‘ball and chain’ now for James.

What Did OP Do?

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OP took me out of the conversation because she was upset, but she still doesn’t think she owe anyone an explanation despite what they say. She wants to know if she is a jerk.

What Redditors Think

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“The title is misleading..you would, in fact, NOT be the jerk for not giving reasons as to why you won’t be serving alcohol, but you are a jerk for not informing your guests that there will be no alcohol.

If you live in a country where weddings and people usually drink, then people can reasonably expect there to be alcohol and should be informed otherwise.”

Drinks Are Expected

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“Cultural norms are cultural norms – in the States and Europe, usually part of being a good host is providing Food and Drink. It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily a bad host if you don’t, but you should let your guests know.

Just like if you were having someone over for a movie night at dinner time but had an early dinner and weren’t planning to have anything available. If you didn’t tell them, you’d be a jerk”.

Not A Jerk

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“My husband is allergic, and I don’t drink because I don’t enjoy it.

His mother is a recovering alcoholic, and my parents aren’t big drinkers either. Paying to allow alcohol at the venue seemed like an unnecessary expense. The wedding went just fine without. There is a myriad of reasons not to have alcohol at a wedding, not just recovering alcoholics.”

Just Be Honest About It

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“100% everyone is already going to know why alcohol is banned at this wedding by the time the actual wedding comes around, whether you tell them or not. That’s just the way it is.

Someone is going to tell someone, and that someone will tell someone else, etc etc etc. Might as well just be honest from the get-go. You don’t have to print on the invite, “NO ALCOHOL, PLEASE, I’M A RECOVERING BOOZEHOUND,” but you can say, “I’m in recovery and prefer not to have it present on my special day” if someone asks.

You’re perfectly entitled to a dry wedding, just as guests are perfectly entitled to decline the invite if they can’t go one night without drinking.

I’m sad you’re so ashamed of being an alcoholic. It’s not something to be ashamed of- it’s an illness- and congratulations on your recovery.”

Let Your Guests Make A Choice

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“You can have alcohol or not – your choice. But warning about no alcohol would be good; it might affect choice if say, driving vs. expensive Uber, and people have the right to know what to expect”

“Or hotels! I would be angry if I spent money on a hotel to have a safe place to stay after drinking to find out I could have driven myself home.

There’s nothing wrong with having a dry wedding; you don’t need to justify yourself, OP. But it would be best if you let people know. And don’t be surprised if people leave after the ceremony. Socializing and dancing aren’t enjoyable for many people, and a glass or two of wine makes that easier for them. I only drink at weddings now (and not much either, just a couple of glasses to ease the social anxiety).

Don’t risk your sobriety (and congratulations on staying sober for so many years, that’s a real accomplishment), but I do think people have an expectation of weddings, and clarity is required””

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